I have felt it like a rumbling thrumming deep down in my veins, pulsing in my ears. It makes my fingers tingle, it makes the back of my neck burn. It tenses the muscles in my shoulders and tells me that there is a shift coming, that there is a message percolating deep down in the core of my soul.
As a Libra I so appreciate the energy that gets whipped up in the fall. This is a time of death, a slowing down of systems in order to move into the deep sleep of winter. It is also the time that I normally shed my old skin and begin anew. Each year the me that no longer serves me moves on, leaving room for a new me to be reborn.
This month has been full of non-stop shenanigans!
I did a workshop at the Be Golden conference in Indiana:
I spent last weekend live tweeting the Superwoman Summit in Portland:
— Jessica Williams (@JessicaJoEllen) October 22, 2017
I gave myself a special birthday gift and presented my research in San Francisco:
My latest essay was published last week on the amazing website Kind Over Matter.
This month has been full of so many opportunities to engage in acts of graceful revolution that have reminded me that women are strong, tenacious, and resilient and they do not have to apologize for it.
Speaking of strong, tenacious, and resilient women. I want to take a moment to talk about the issue of #ForcedPregnancy and a story that has left me rocked to my very core.
Just this week the United States Court of Appeals made a decision that I could not have predicted better when I wrote about the War on Women in the women’s journal Affilia in 2014. According to the ACLU:
After Jane Doe, a 17-year-old immigrant from Central America, found out she was pregnant last month, she decided to have an abortion. But the Office of Refugee Resettlement — the federal government agency charged with caring for unaccompanied immigrant minors once they enter the country — is prohibiting her from getting one.
The federal government has a new policy that allows it to veto an unaccompanied minors’ abortion decision, and government officials are doing everything imaginable to prevent Ms. Doe from accessing abortion. They have instructed the shelter where Jane Doe is staying not to transport Ms. Doe or allow Ms. Doe’s court-appointed guardian to transport her to the health care center to have an abortion — essentially holding her hostage.
There are many reasons we should take note of this decision. It is a clear violation of human rights to deny someone a legal medical procedure, there is a guardian in place to assist her with obtaining the procedure, it is not illegal for this young woman to obtain an abortion in the United States of America and she has been granted permission to do so.
But there is more here that we need to consider. Forcing a woman to remain pregnant against her will should not become a tolerable practice in our nation. Whether or not we like abortion, it is legal to obtain one in this nation. Our government has refused to temporarily release this woman from custody, they are literally holding her hostage.
Gritty, inconvenient, and more honest questions MUST be asked at this moment. Women must ask why this is happening and if the answer is not satisfactory, then those of us that can MUST work to shift the balance of power and free this young woman (and others) so that she can make her own decisions about her body.
All women must demand bodily autonomy for ALL women.
All women must demand to be recognized as women whether or not we have given birth.
All women must demand the acknowledgement that if we find ourselves pregnant and cannot keep that baby for any reason, we will be given the option to obtain a safe and legal abortion.
If you feel this is not ok, tell your Senator how you feel.
Contact the ACLU and ask if there is anything you can do to help this woman or other women who may be in this same situation.
If you want to know more about how you can train yourself to be an advocate in your own community check out Marginalized No More, an online training you can do on your own time and on your own terms.
Trust in yourself that you possess the power and the ability to engage in advocacy on your terms. Take courageous and imperfect action today.